Experiment Team in Action Brainstorming
NOTES ABOUT OUR EXPERIMENT & COVID-19
The virtual world development for the experiment was originally designed to have five 256×256 meter platforms (approx 16 acres each) with identical content stacked 750 meters apart in an OpenSim region. Thirty student avatars were divided into five color-coded teams to simultaneously participating in the experiment with each team on a separate platform. During the experiment all the students would be under the supervision of Professor Davis in a Valencia College computer lab with virtual world viewer software pre-installed and configured to required specifications.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the experiment was modified so that each of the five student avatar teams entered the world separately scheduled on June 9, 10 and 11, 2020. They used their home computers and were supervised by Professor Davis using his virtual world avatar to follow each team’s activities during the experiment. To optimize the performance of the virtual world servers, only one platform level was developed.
Since students could not use lab computers to learn the virtual world viewer software or avatar skills, in a May 2020 Zoom class meeting with Gwenette Writer Sinclair walked the students through setting up the Firestorm virtual world viewer on their home computers and creating a “practice” avatar account.
The Experiment Timeline
May 20, 2020
Professor Davis invited virtual world developer Gwenette Writer Sinclair to meet with the students participating in the experiment. During their Zoom class they completed a step-by-step set up of multiple, critical preferences required by the experiment on their virtual world viewers. Everyone in the class created a personal avatar account, then used their viewer to log their avatar into an OpenSim world where they all met with Writer Sinclair to practice basic avatar skills and inventory management. The two hour training was recorded and the video is available at the bottom of our Virtual World Videos page.
June 09 – 11, 2020
A total of 21 Valencia college engineering students divided into five teams participated in the experiment. Each team came into the virtual world separately to participate in the experiment activities. Each team member logged into the world using a pre-made team avatar. The experiment activities were successfully completed by all teams. Below is the experiment calendar posted in the virtual world orientation landing area .
June 12, 2020
The experiment survey notecards and project proposal assignment notecards were collected from the virtual world dropboxes for analysis by Professor Davis.
June 25, 2020
Videos of the experiment have been published today. One version is a complete walk-through of the experiment with images of many of the team avatars in action. The second version is a shorter, fast-paced video with highlights from each step of the experiment. Watch the brief overview on our Virtual World Videos page.
Virtual Vocabulary: Technically, these videos are “machinima” – videos captured onscreen from within a virtual world or a game.